Joni B

The very idea.

Shankfest 2015


As 2015 comes to a close, there have been hard and hurt filled days. We’ve lost many friends and family members. Many tears have been shed. Some days we just try to put one foot in front of the other. Business, exhaustion, sadness, hurtful words… it happens. Such is life. BUT so much of our lives are filled with laughter and joy. Things are never and never will be perfect, but we are blessed and we thank God for all things trusting His perfect plan for our lives. Here is a look back at those moments in our lives that make life worth living… Thank You, Lord. How could I ask for more?

January starts with a slow down after the holidays. However, Ron left for India on somewhat of a secretive mission project. I hesitate to write more on this subject as it is so sensitive and could put others in danger. We had lots of prayer surrounding him and his work there. I’m thankful for all of those who interceded on his behalf. He arrived home safely – a little more humble, a little more grateful and a lot more burdened for what others go through.


February brings our widow’s Valentine dinner and Jon Garrett’s birthday. We have about 16 widows each year and we try to go all out to make their Valentine’s night a little less lonely. In the end, we are blessed beyond measure and humbled that God chose us to show His love. Each year, we are amazed at the different stories these ladies tell.

February valentine

Jon Garrett turned 12 and it was a little different party from the widows. They got in a hot sauce eating contest. Even the girls participated. Claire Beckham started the girls off as seen below and they turned out to handle it better than the boys. The girls loved my Snoopy cake. The boys thought it looked like Snoopy had his throat slit and as we lit candles, they insisted it was a Snoopy sacrifice.

February birthday

March brought a snow storm and then left mild enough for me to retreat back to my front porch sitting. My favorite refuge.

March snow


We lost a childhood friend, David Anglin, this year. A few of my classmates came together at my house to love on his widow, Tonia, who we also grew up with and who will always be a dear friend.

March class

April brings spring sports. We cheered Caleb on through baseball and soccer. Soccer is his sport without a doubt. One opponent smacked talked him. Caleb didn’t say a word but went on to score 4 goals in one game. That game alone landed him the MVP award at the end of the year.

April soccerapril soccer2

May brought the busiest month of the year. We went to Fort Morgan, AL with Caleb’s class for an end of school celebration. I almost didn’t go, but am so thankful I didn’t let that pass me by. I loved being with all the parents and kids. I have a years worth of laughter in just that trip alone. Between Ron, Bob Adkisson and Steve Cagle, we had our own comedy team along. Donna Williams taught me some dance moves, Stacey Blackwelder kept me sane and the others kept me out of trouble – kinda.

beachmay beach 2

It was Caleb’s 8th grade year at SCA which meant graduation. I hated to see that day come. There were 14 kids in his class and they (we) were more like family than friends.

may sca graduation

JB got his braces off and was also a Boys State delegate and was elected as State Senator while there. He was a member of the Boys State Band and a citizen of Krider City. He has mixed reviews of Boys State, haha, but overall had a great experience. We are so thankful to out American Legion for sending him.

may boys state

June we took a quick trip to Branson as part of Jon Garrett’s birthday gift. We were excited that Abram Adkisson was able to go with us. There is never a dull moment when Caleb and Abram are together.


July my best friends from Missouri came down. It’s always a balm to my soul when Holly, Tim and Boogie are around. We were somehow able to hear each other over the song of the 13 year locusts.  Awful! Holly and I took the Buddies up to Ridgecrest Camp in North Carolina. I’d type more, but we don’t tell what happens when “Thelma and Louise” go off on adventures.

july camp

We also had Matt Hadley come and take some Senior pictures of JB. I’m having a difficult time accepting this is his final year at home.  He also had all four wisdom teeth cut out and had to miss the very first day of his Senior year.

july sr pictures

August we celebrated the wedding of my “adopted” son, Matt Hadley and Carmen Justice. Beautiful wedding, beautiful people! I might have pulled a little prank on Dave Frey while there, but that’s censored here too.  My grandfather was inducted into the Hardin County Sports Hall of Fame and it was a highlight to hear Phil Fulmer speak.  My granddaddy would have been thrilled…and humbled.

august weddingaugust

September brings football games, college acceptance letters and my birthday. Sometimes life gets overwhelmingly disappointing and can hurt in places that I never let anyone see. I only say that to emphasize how incredibly thankful I am for my friends, Jenifer Edwards and Dave Frey. Jenifer makes my birthday cake every year. It’s the same birthday cake my Annie Laura always made for me. I came home from work after a very difficult day and there was a huge bouquet of beautiful flowers waiting for me from Dave. Those one acts of kindness meant everything. When someone who doesn’t have to remember your birthday goes out of their way to say “you matter”, it’s the best warm fuzzy ever!


October – I had the bright idea of having a 5th quarter after the first home game. I had at least 70 people in my house that first night. After that, it turned into tradition, and my Friday nights were filled with kids and friends. I love my 5th quarter crew! Fall nights, homecoming week and parades….great tradions!

octoberWe also celebrated Caleb’s 15th birthday and had friends for Halloween and the boys ended up in pumpkin gut war while carving jackolanterns. You never know what will happen in this house!

caleb bdaycalebday2pumpkinwarhalloween 2015

In November, we took our annual Christmas Kickoff trip. We had Thanksgiving at Keeter Center, went to Christmas Fest at Silver Dollar City and then on to Rolla to celebrate with the Broyles, Vonder Bruegge’s, Frey’s and Garrett’s. This is my favorite time of the year.

november bransonnovember rolla

In December, my baby turned 18. We celebrated he and Ben Coleman being born together and becoming men together. Christmas was filled with lots of parties, overindulgences, joy, reflection. That reflection can bring sorrow, but Christmas brings the ever-present hope we have in Jesus. We know all is well and always will be because unto us a Savior is given.

december bdaychristmas 2015Here’s to you, 2015. Thanks for the memories! Happy New Year everyone!

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